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Reflection-in-action in cross-language qualitative research

Erika C. Piazzoli (Griffith Institute for Educational Research (GIER), School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia)

Qualitative Research Journal

ISSN: 1443-9883

Article publication date: 2 February 2015




The purpose of this paper is to reflect on reflective practice as a qualitative methodology, and reflection-in-action as a modus operandi to engage with the artistry of cross-language qualitative research.


The author draws on the doctoral research, a cross-language multiple case study aimed at investigating the author’s evolving understanding, as a reflective practitioner, of drama-based pedagogy for teaching Italian as a second language.


A reflective analysis of the author’s tacit decision making during drama improvisation unveiled a clash between covert beliefs and overt attitudes in the author’s practice. In this paper, the author examine this process and highlight the value of translingual writing (writing in two languages) as a method of enquiry that allowed me to become aware of this clash.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this research is that the nature of this clash of beliefs is confined to the idiosyncrasy of one practitioner. However, the methodological implications are relevant to cross-language qualitative researchers fluent in two (or more) languages. Frequently, translingual researchers focus all writing efforts in one language only, because of the absence of methodological guidelines bridging cross-language research, reflective practice and translingual studies.

Practical implications

Strategies to investigate awareness of tacit beliefs in educational practice may help other second language/drama reflective practitioners to better understand their knowing in-action.


This paper represents a first step in disseminating knowledge about translingual writing as method, and is of value to all those translingual researchers who are interested in reflective methodologies.



This doctoral project was supported by the Australian Postgraduate Awards (APA) Government Scheme. For the Italian data collection, the author received funding from the Australasian Centre for Italian Studies (ACIS) Cassamarca Scholarship Foundation.


Piazzoli, E.C. (2015), "Reflection-in-action in cross-language qualitative research", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 74-85.



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